Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Susan Safford - Lincoln University
Co-Author(s): Haydar Teymourlouei, Kameron Hayman, Fopefoluwas Gbosibo, Foluso Akinlade, Ria Dudley, Brianna Blake, and Timeka Thompson, Lincoln University
We are creating an app for math application problems in biology that is being developed primarily by students with guidance from faculty. While the ultimate goal of the project is to develop a user-friendly app that reflects the student perspective, another goal is to give students experience in approaching a problem that has limited parameters and requires creative and critical thinking on the part of the students. Over the past three years, there has been turn-over in students on the project as they have graduated or left for other reasons. This creates opportunities for new students to gain this experience and offer their insights, but also creates its own challenges. More experienced students have to train the new students and they have to learn to listen to each other and respect each other’s ideas. Initially, students had envisioned this project to be similar to their experiences in classes, where faculty defined the problem and gave them limits and a lot of guidance. Instead, the students were given limited guidance, such as some app content problems and a template for how the problems would appear in the app. The students quickly realized that the app development students would have to work with the app content students, and both would have to work with faculty, including letting faculty know when changes would need to be made to the faculty-driven template. One challenge students are still working through is the different pace of app development versus content creation. Sometimes content is created but not immediately coded or coding difficulties arise, delaying implementation of new content. Initially, the students were frustrated, however they have come to enjoy the challenge of the project and the ability to work with faculty in an atmosphere that is very different from that in a classroom.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF Award Number 1623208
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,